Shop small and be rewarded! Spend $10 this weekend at a small business on Amazon, and get a $10 credit toward your Prime Day purchases.
Itching for Amazon Prime Day? Here’s a tip: You can save $10 during the event next week (12 a.m. PDT on June 21 to 11:59 p.m. PDT on June 22) by starting your shopping early. Through midnight on Sunday, June 20, Amazon is offering a $10 credit to use on Prime Day to members who spend $10 on products from select small businesses selling in Amazon’s store (exclusions apply).
To get access to the deals, however, you have to be an Amazon Prime subscriber.
Every year, Amazon’s Prime Day offers thousands of deals on the site’s products, from electronics to books and art supplies. This year, the 48-hour event will begin at 12 a.m. PDT on Monday, June 21 and conclude at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, June 22. To get access to the deals, however, you have to be an Amazon Prime subscriber.
Amazon Prime costs $12.99 a month or $119 a year. Its benefits include faster shipping on Amazon orders, discounts at Whole Foods, and access to Amazon’s streaming entertainment. You can also pick up a free 30-day trial of Prime here.
Click here to see all participating businesses; see below for some of our favorites for art and craft supplies (we’ll be updating this page all weekend, so check back in with us often!):
***NEW*** Cruelty-free paintbrushesFounded over 25 years ago in Howard Kaufman’s Princeton, New Jersey, basement, the Princeton Artist Brush Company is still a family-owned business. With a well-deserved reputation for high-quality products, it may be best known for its its premier synthetic brushes, including these Heritage series synthetic sable brushes for watercolor.
Recyclable gift wrapStock up on high-quality cards, envelopes, and wrapping supplies at the one-stop paper store Note Card Café. Operated by the California small business Graphic Business Solutions, Note Card Café collaborates with artists to produce unique designs that are expertly printed and packaged. We like its rolls of Kraft wrapping paper, which comes in a range of colors and patterns.
High-quality muslinWhether used for pattern-making, photography backdrops, or painting canvases, a good piece of muslin should be clean, easy to de-wrinkle, and showcase an even weave. Those from AK-Trading Co., a two-decade-old, family-owned business in Chatsworth, California, check off all those boxes and more. The company’s 100-percent cotton muslin has a nice medium heft, and even comes finished with selvage edges. Choose from unbleached, white, or black.
DIY soap kitsSituated within the tall pines of Heber-Overgaard in Arizona is the small family-owned business Wild Herb Soap Co., which produces handcrafted self-care products such as lotion, balms, and of course, soaps. While you can purchase readymade products, we’re keen on their raw products, from 100-percent natural beeswax pellets to well-sized palm kernel flakes, which can be used for soap-making.
***NEW*** Pro metal-working toolsPMC Supplies, based in Upstate New York, is a purveyor of tools to jewelry makers and metal workers from beginners to experts. They carry everything from professional-grade specialty items like graphite crucibles to all-inclusive jewelry-making kits for those just starting out.
Wild fabricsSince 1983, the family-operated Fabric Empire has been creating unusual fabrics in all kinds of patterns. Think light blue suede cow print, Froot Loop-colored and highly textured synthetic shag, and rose-hued embossed taffeta. In our book, this is the store to go for faux furs, sold by the yard and soft enough to sleep on. Where else will you find the perfect rainbow-striped, long-pile fake gorilla fur?
Frames and matsThe Display Guys, a family-owned company in business since 1999, is a great go-to to find just what you need to display your artworks, from photographs to prints. Frames are available in black, white, gray, and bronze, in wood, aluminum, and plastic, and in one dozen sizes, from 4-by-6 inches to 20-by-24 inches. They sell mat boards, too, including bulk packs of acid-free, precisely cut boards that will make any artwork look professionally put-together.
Heat-transfer vinyl sheetsBased out of Cedar City, Utah, FireFly Craft specializes in heat-transfer vinyl, which it sells by the roll or in convenient multicolor bundles. There are tons of color options to choose from, including fluorescents; most are compatible with cutting machines, so you can easily trace custom designs. We are fans of their flocked vinyl, which features a pleasingly soft, fuzzy texture on its exposed side.
Premium modeling and ceramics clayAlso in Utah, Artistic Industries is run by April Butterfield Simister and Michael Simister, who are growing their ceramics supply business with their three kids. (“A family that clays together stays together,” they have said.) Stock up on Laguna air-dry clay of different colors, from an electric brown to a speckled buff .
Industrial-strength gluingSurebonder Adhesives began in 1968 as an eyelet and rivet distributor in a single-car garage in Wauconda, Illinois. Now, the family-owned business specializes in a different kind of adhesive tool: the glue gun. Its 60-watt cordless hot glue gun is one popular product to definitely check out. It heats up fast, feels comfortable in the hand, and comes with a stand designed to catch unwanted drips.
***NEW*** Glowy paints and pigmentsIf luminescence is your thing, Glomania USA sells glow-in-the-dark, UV black light, and color-changing paints and pigments, both daytime visible and daytime invisible. Shop their store for glowy art tools like black-light poster paints and nail art kits.
Sticky, eye-catching tapeThese tapes are designed by Hoopologie, a self-described “DIY hula hoop supply company” and are used to decorate hula hoops, but honestly, they would make pretty great art materials too. The Boulder, Colorado business sells high tensile strength and heat-resistant electrical tape in wondrous colors like Royal Purple as well as truly gorgeous decorative tapes in pearlescent finishes. Many tapes change color depending on your viewing angle, which adds extra oomph to your projects.
Multicolor Miyuki seed beadsColorado bead peddler Rockin Beads has been selling beads and other craft supplies for more than 10 years, and it remains one of the best places to find small beads from the Japanese bead manufacturing company Miyuki. These highly sought after glass beads come in all sorts of shapes, from triangles to droplets to hexagons; find all these and more on Rockin Beads’ Amazon storefront, in seductive colors such as Bisque White, Picasso Canary Yellow, and Amethyst Gold Luster.
***NEW*** Sterling silver fittingsCalifornia company Adabele specializes in quality jewelry-making supplies, including sterling silver fittings like lobster clasps, jump rings, and earring wires, as well as Swarovski and Preciosa crystal beads. Wholesale orders are welcome.
Super nice stampsUp your inking game and snag some stamps from SniggleSloth, a hobby store based in Gold River, California. While it sells buttons, stencils, and other charming knickknacks, it’s best known for its rubber stamps, which are made with sturdy wood and deeply etched rubber. A cushion of foam in between makes for satisfyingly springy stamping. While you can purchase traditional, square-shaped stamps, we think the tall ones with sloth faces make for pretty cute desk accessories. Most stamps come in multiple sizes.
***NEW*** Bold beadsBased in Santa Monica, California, The Bead Chest imports beads and handicrafts from Africa, Nepal, and other parts of the world. If you are looking for, say, vintage Czech snake beads from Nigeria or vinyl beads from Ghana, this is the place.
***NEW*** Craft chipboardThunderbolt Paper carries papers of all sorts, but we are particularly enamored of their 5-by-7-inch, Kraft paper-colored cards and envelopes and their range of chipboard panels for crafting and bookbinding.
Peruvian alpaca woolProducts from Alpaca Warehouse travel from Peruvian artisans to the family-run brand’s operations in Gainesville, Florida, which originally got up and running with a shop right in Lima. Now is the time to stock up on its yarn, which is available in different weights and plenty of colors. A bestseller is its fingering yarn, sold in attractive hues from rose pink to emerald green.
Objet: Candles Inspired by Classical Sculptures
Scrolling through the Instagram postings of American influencers whose brands rely on a certain adjacency to European culture, I’ve noticed that the standard fare of empty Diptyque glasses, Matisse cutouts, and starburst mirrors is now being complemented by sculptural candles. In the past few years, we’ve seen pastel-hued candles shaped like geometric solids, candles speckled…
Scrolling through the Instagram postings of American influencers whose brands rely on a certain adjacency to European culture, I’ve noticed that the standard fare of empty Diptyque glasses, Matisse cutouts, and starburst mirrors is now being complemented by sculptural candles. In the past few years, we’ve seen pastel-hued candles shaped like geometric solids, candles speckled with bright colors looking like they’re straight out of Splatoon, and candles in the form of cereal bowls, pastries, and sneakers. But what this new wave of creators are displaying on their shelves and coffee tables are miniature versions in wax of famous Classical statues.
The most viral brand in this regard is New York–based Anaïs Candle, which was founded around a year ago. One of the owners, Kat, who declined to give her full name because she doesn’t want to take the focus away from the products, has had a lifelong fascination with the Venus de Milo. Soon after the launch of the Venus candle, which appeared in highly aestheticized Instagram photos, either in rows of four or solo in elaborate tableaux where it was flanked by champagne flutes, flower arrangements (roses and peonies, mainly), high-end beauty products, or latte art, there was, Kat says, a demand for a male equivalent. Anaïs Candle opted for the head of Michelangelo’s David. “There were already a lot of candles depicting the male body,” she says. On the site, the head is known simply as “Man.”
While Anaïs maintains a neutral color palette, with candles available in off-white, stone gray, calcite blue, and black, other independent candle makers are melding Classical art with a Gen-Z color palette. Forget Millennial Pink and its buddy Marigold Yellow; what about a bust of Artemis in ultramarine blue, or a David in lime green or bubblegum pink? Néos Candle Studio, based in Costa Mesa, California, gave their versions of Venus and David, as well as a candle inspired by the Diana of Versailles, just such a contemporary spin. Says Néos founder Sonia Marcinek, “A David or Artemis candle in a neon color creates the exact eclectic aesthetic I had in mind when I envisioned my candles.”
There is a whole pantheon of deities, heroes, and comely mortals to draw from, though, and Cody Bennett, founder of the Australian company The Busted Gentleman, is doing so. “So many brands have done versions of David and Venus,” he says. “I wanted to show that there are other Greek gods just as beautiful.” His candles depict gods of the arts, including Apollo and Orpheus.
The Busted Gentleman
All of these candles have two to six hours’ worth of burning time, but customers often won’t light them. Yet, the candlemakers maintain, that’s part of the experience. “We would say that when our candles burn, it’s actually even more aesthetic,” says Kat.
Auction Sales Rebound to Pre-Pandemic Levels with Boost from Asia: Report
According to a report published by London-based art market analytics firm Pi-eX, auction sales are once again at pre-pandemic levels after a tumultuous year of financial strain. Despite an abrupt shutdown that forced the industry to adapt overnight, data from the second quarter of this year suggests the auction market is back in full force.…
According to a report published by London-based art market analytics firm Pi-eX, auction sales are once again at pre-pandemic levels after a tumultuous year of financial strain.
Despite an abrupt shutdown that forced the industry to adapt overnight, data from the second quarter of this year suggests the auction market is back in full force. According to the report, the top three public auction houses—Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips—saw a 405 percent year-over-year increase in sales during the second quarter of 2021 between the months of April and June.
Whereas the houses brought in $900 million during the second quarter of 2020, during the second quarter of this year, they brought in $4.6 billion, slightly exceeding numbers from the same period in 2019. In the second quarter of 2020, these houses weathered the worst year-over-year drop-off since the 2008 financial crisis.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg Markets, Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti said that auction houses struggled in 2020 because “there was very strong demand, but the supply was more challenging.” In other words, art collectors were more reluctant to sell their works during the embattled financial period. Buyers, on the other hand, were likely to go after opportunities to collect during the economic lag.
Now, things have changed. A boost from Asia-based clients fueled the market’s return to its pre-pandemic level. They increased auction sale results in China, boosting them to $1.2 billion this year—a sum that’s up 69 percent from the $734 million generated in the second quarter of 2019.
By comparison, the U.S. failed to bounce back to its 2019 level during 2021’s second quarter, however, with saw a 16 percent drop in sales from the same period in 2019.
In a report on the first half of 2021, Christie’s said Asian buyers accounted for a historic high of 39 percent all bids across fine art and luxury categories, spending $1.04 billion in total. Phillips likewise found success in the region, seeing the highest increase in sales between the second quarters of 2019 and 2021. The 34 percent uptick can be attributed to the London-based house’s collaboration with Chinese auction house Poly for its modern and contemporary art evening sales. This spring, Phillips and Poly made $122 million across four consecutive white-glove sales over the course of a week.
Meanwhile, across sales in all regions, Sotheby’s saw a 16 percent increase in the second quarter of 2021 over the second quarter of 2019. Christie’s, which led by market share in 2019, however, saw its Q2 2021 sales dip by 9 percent.
The second quarter of this year also saw the return of another crucial auction format: the single-owner collection sale, which brings major holdings amassed by the world’s wealthy elite to the open market, often after decades of secrecy. The estate of French advertising tycoon Francis Gross sold his Surrealist works at Christie’s, for example, and luxury footwear mogul Stuart Weitzman parted ways with rare stamps at Sotheby’s. According to the Pi-eX report, these auctions helped boost the houses’ sales by a significant margin, signaling a return of confidence among the art world’s high-profile sellers. The sales generated $489 million in Q2 2021, about five times the amount made in the second quarter of 2020.
A new focus on non-traditional collectible categories, such as crypto art, attracted millennial buyers this year and played a role in the market’s rebound. NFT sales are now a $2.4 billion global market according to a recent Dapp Industry report. Following the $69 million sale of a Beeple work in March, NFTs dominated the first quarter of 2021. The pace of NFT buying slowed between April and June this year, accounting for just $50 million, or around 1 percent of Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips’s total sales.
Venice Avoids UNESCO’s ‘In Danger’ Designation After Cruise Ship Ban
After banning large cruise ships from traveling through its lagoon, Venice has avoided being designed an “in danger” UNESCO World Heritage site. UNESCO made the announcement on Thursday, a week after the Italian cabinet declared the city’s waterways a national monument. The historic move aimed to preserve the embattled ecosystem from damage by the ships,…
After banning large cruise ships from traveling through its lagoon, Venice has avoided being designed an “in danger” UNESCO World Heritage site. UNESCO made the announcement on Thursday, a week after the Italian cabinet declared the city’s waterways a national monument. The historic move aimed to preserve the embattled ecosystem from damage by the ships, which had begun to return to Venice following a break necessitated by the pandemic.
The World Heritage Committee, the governing body of the heritage sites, has given the Italian government until next December to further detail its efforts to preserve Venice’s ecosystem and heritage. Italy’s Culture Minister, Dario Franceschini, said in a statement that “attention on Venice must remain high” and emphasized the city’s need to find a “sustainable development path.”
Environmentalists have been campaigning for a decade to ban oversized tourist vessels from the lagoon, citing the large waves caused by ships. These waves destabilize the underwater ecosystem and could harm the city’s already fragile foundation. In recent weeks, protestors have staged demonstrations, flying flags reading “No big boats.”
In 2019, UNESCO warned the Italian city about the problems associated with cruise ships passing through the Venice lagoon. Those cruise ships, which brought millions to Venice each year prior to the pandemic, will now be banned from entering the Basin of San Marco, the Canal of San Marco, and the Giudecca Canal as of August 1.
Non-governmental watch groups claim that the ban does not address the many issues the city faces, such as over-tourism and the management of natural resources. The groups also say that the temporary decision to moor cruise ships in the industrial port of Marghera still puts the lagoon at risk.
“The persistent issues afflicting the precarious state of conservation of Venice and its lagoon has long been associated with a complex and ineffective governance framework,” Stephan Doempke, chairman of World Heritage Watch, told the UNESCO committee. “It lacks a long-term vision and a strategy involving the local community.”